MarComedy: Don’t make me laugh

For what tickles my fancy in media, communications and life in general.

1 Second Spots

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An article in this weekend’s Toronto Star talks about the invention of a new method of advertising. Simply put, the concept involves one second ads. The time it takes the Road Runner to repeat its entire vocabulary is the same increment for which one radio chain is hoping to create ads – perhaps embedded right in your favourite song. The article goes on to explain how Clear Channel Communications is exploring ways to create ads that fit right in between two songs or even right in the middle of them to counter consumer disinterest in, and disengagement from, more conventional forms of advertising.

Both sides of the argument are explored. Those for arguing that the innovative approach will capture attention without being intrusive; those against arguing that not only is this intrusive but one second is not enough time to communicate a meaningful message for anything other than the most widely recognized brands. The article cites demo spots that have been created for McDonalds (‘I’m loving it’) and BMW for the Mini Cooper (simply a voice saying ‘MINI’).

I am inclined to give this a chance. It’s certainly innovative, though I agree with the impact counter-argument. I can really only think of the Intel mnemonic as an example of current advertising that could be readily converted to this approach. I also wonder whether consumers will be able to make the connection (as an aside, who else knows that the TTC subway door chime is actually the first three notes from the theme of Sesame Street?). This is going to be thump-you-over-the-head kind advertising. Initially favourable impressions will quickly sour if the advertising: a) isn’t creative and unique; b) interrupts the songs as they’ve suggested they may do; c) doesn’t capture brand identities in a compelling way. I’m really eager to see how this evolves….

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Written by Jonathan Dunn

July 4, 2006 at 6:42 pm

Posted in Advertising, Blogroll, Media

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